No one knows better than Jerry Springer that his rowdy, unpredictable tabloid talk show was a big step in people accepting the rowdy, unpredictable Donald Trump as president.
The one-time mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, whose self-named talk show ran for 27 years, was questioned by SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah on Friday if he thought there was a connection between “The Jerry Springer Show” and “what people let people get away with,” Trump’s behavior and, ultimately, his acceptance.
“Yes, there’s no question. The behavior of some of the people on the show is exactly Donald Trump,” Springer said. “The reason, though, there’s more respect given to the people who were on my show, is they have enough sense not to run for president.”
When “Jerry Springer” debuted in 1991, it was developed to go the route of other popular talk shows of the time, include those hosted by Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey, but traveling in a more political direction with guests like Jesse Jackson and Oliver North.
Three years into it, though, Springer and the show’s new producer Richard Dominick, revamped the series to draw more viewers and it made a turn towards tabloid sensationalism. Rather than segments about homelessness or gun control, the show began to focus on more controversial topics like paternity, prostitution and adultery. It wasn’t unusual for scripted shouting matches or violence to erupt on stage. And the shift worked – in 1998, 6.7 million people turned in, beating “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in many cities.
“They’re on the show letting their emotions out, their feelings out, they don’t speak the Queen’s English, they don’t have money, they don’t live in palaces they aren’t rich and famous. But they have feelings like everybody else and when they get angry, they probably curse and they yell and sometimes fight ’cause they don’t have the skills to settle things in different ways. That’s Trump,” Springer told Obeidallah.
“But what made Trump unique–the only thing that separates him from the guests on my show–is the fact that he had this delusion of he knew how to run the world and run the country. When in fact he knows, he knows nothing about how you run a country and we paid the price for that. But yeah of course there’s similarities except for the issue of ‘Gee, I don’t think I ought to be president.'”
Check out Jerry Springer’s interview on SiriusXM radio’s “The Dean Obeidallah Show” in the clip at the top.